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The Best of the Best
Feb 2012

Top Accessed Article: Motivation for Contemporary Tattoo Removal

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(2):227. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.860

Armstrong ML, Roberts AE, Koch JR, Saunders JC, Owen DC, Anderson RR. Motivation for contemporary tattoo removal. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(7):879-884.

This excellent article by Armstrong and colleagues seeks to determine the reasons for tattoo removal in a detailed questionnaire of 196 patients who presented for laser removal. The authors have produced valuable insight into the patients' motivations. The results were compared with those in a similar survey that was conducted in 1996.

In contrast to the findings in the earlier survey, women were more likely to seek tattoo removal than men, a common reason being the need to dissociate from the past in some way. Women also experienced more negative comments regarding their tattoos, even in today's “contemporary ” society. The comments originated from fathers, physicians, and the public. As physicians, we should be aware of the impact that our comments and biases have on patients regarding tattoos.

From August 2009 through August 2010, this article was viewed 2681 times on the Archives of Dermatology Web site.

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Contact Dr Ozog at the Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, 3031 W Grand Blvd, Ste 800, Detroit, MI 48202 (dozog1@hfhs.org).